We joke about this and I’m not sure TeenHer believes it but it’s true: before I got pregnant with ToddlerA, for 9 years I maintained two things as reasons why I couldn’t have more children: that no child would be as good as TeenHer was to me, therefore I did not trust my ability to parent, and that I simply could not love another child as much as I loved TeenHer and so it would be patently unfair to add a baby that would simply be unable to live up to its older sibling in every way.
When I met Karen’s Jack, I was overcome with baby lust and I convinced myself that the second born, while she would never know the pure love that I shared with TeenHer, nevertheless would be OK.
And then ToddlerA was born and my heart split and doubled in size and love was all around me.
When pregnant with Jack, my fears resurfaced; how could I possibly make the time and the energy and most of all the love for a third? I am an introvert; I need my privacy and my personal space. This was insane.
This morning as I cooed and giggled and laughed with my baby (at 5 a.m. even), my love was a physical sensation. My heart literally jumped in my chest and I realized then that instead of having to spread my limited love around, my heart has engulfed them, has grown and continues to grow and the impossible has happened. I love them each more because the others are there.
When I met my husband I was shocked that I could love another with the intensity and focus and total devotion that I thought was reserved only for my daughter. Now I know that feeling times four and sometimes it’s almost more than I can bear.